Monday, February 25, 2013

Hammerscales, Mirrorscales, and Leather Goldfish

After my last post about the batik scale type, I thought it would be fun to highlight some other rare and different goldfish scale types! 

The Hammerscale
In the words of professional goldfish breeder and marine biologist Steve Hopkins, the hammerscale has "an indentation in the scale which makes light reflect in all directions and gives them more of a sparkle".  I think this scale type is really pretty and I wish it were more commercially available!  This scale mutation can occur on any goldfish type, but here is a photo of a jikin goldfish displaying the hammerscale trait.
Photo credit: Rain Garden Snapshots

And below is a common goldfish with the hammerscale trait.
Photo credit: Hammerscale thread: Goldfish Keepers Forum

The Mirrorscale
The mirrorscale goldfish has few, irregularly spaced large scales.  This usually takes the form of one row of enlarged scales running along the lateral line, one row running along the back, and one shorter row running along the abdomen.  The spaces in-between each row are scaleless.  Some claim this scale type is the result of a hybridization with the mirror koi carp, while others say the trait is actually a mutation that arose independently in the goldfish. 
Photo credit: Mirrorscale Goldfish Blog

Leather Goldfish
This mutation produces a fish that has no scales, or very few scales.  Though at a glance it may be difficult to tell the difference, the leather goldfish is not simply a goldfish with opaque scales.  It is actually scaleless!  I have only come across this type of goldfish once, at the Australian blog linked to below.  These leather goldfish also have a deformity that normally causes them to have only the caudal fin present; with all other fins being reduced to nubs.  It's very likely that the fin deformities are linked to the scaleless trait. 
Photo credit: Mirrorscale Goldfish Blog


  1. Now someone needs to work these scale mutations into some of the formal GF varieties. Wouldn't a mirrorscale oranda or butterfly be pretty?